Empty Extinguishers, False Alarms Have Students Heated


The good news is that the fire alarms in residence halls at Curry College clearly work. The bad news is that some students seem to think fire safety is a joke.

In the 886 residence hall and others around campus, people have being pulling fire alarms as pranks — sometimes in the early-morning hours — forcing students out of theirs bed and into the night cold. In other cases, students have been playing with fire extinguishers. And some of those extinguishers remain empty.

Junior Ashley Sarnie, a nursing major and resident assistant int 886, is among those who has had to deal with these incidents.

“People have only spread the fire extinguishers twice,” Sarnie said. “People frequently have pulled the fire alarms around the time when people are trying to sleep.”

Photo by Mr. Beaver//Creative Commons

Photo by Mr. Beaver//Creative Commons

Freshman Tom Eanelli, who lives at 886, is among the many students feeling frustrated.

“It’s actually ridiculous,” Eanelli said. “I’ve had to wait outside three or four time this year [due to the fire alarms]. Each time around 3 a.m., during the winter so it was cold, too.”

Eanelli added that some students don’t seem to respect the dorms at Curry.

According to Sarnie, no student has been caught or fined for the alarms this year. If someone was caught, the punishment can be severe. The college’s policy reads: “Any student who wantonly and without authority pulls a fire alarm under any falsehoods or damages any fire alarm system faces prosecution (Mass General Laws) and or expulsion from the College.”

Currently, there are two empty fire extinguishers in 866 and two more in Lombard. No fire extinguisher is available in the basement floor of Mayflower.

Milton Fire Prevention Officer Brian Doherty said that because Curry is a private school and the college owns the fire extinguishers, it is up to Curry to refill them. Neither town nor state law requires them to be refilled, he said.

“If we were to go to public schools or public places, we make sure that all the fire safety equipment is up and running,” Doherty said.

As for Curry, Doherty suggested the college could find the guilty parties with a little sleuthing.

“The fire alarms and fire extinguishers have white powder that, once pulled or touched, can take a finger print of whoever did it.”

However, the college does not have a database of student fingerprints to run them against.    

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